Teaching kids about their feelings…and maybe even adults

In parenting on June 3, 2010 at 6:30 am

Last week, as I was running out to a client meeting I stumbled across two people down my elevator ride. I noticed they were wearing “exhibitor badges” over their necks and carrying boxes. In my natural sense of curiosity I asked them, where are you headed? and they said, we’re off to an exhibition with our book. “We are trying to teach children about their feelings.” I asked them for a business card as I wanted to check them out online but when I mentioned I had a blog they were excited to give me a book to review. That’s when I said, why don’t I review it and also give away the book to a lucky reader? Needless to say they were delighted! Do you want me to sign it? she said,  that’s when I realized I was actually talking to the author.

The author is Piper Quinn and the book “Up and Down Town”, while an unknown author she has captured my attention with great illustrations, vivid colors but most importantly a great topic.

I know it’s hard for adults to express their feelings sometimes or even communicate to others how they are feeling…so the fact that this can begin a simple conversation at a young age seemed brilliant.

As I opened the book I noticed it had a CD on the side flap. Since I wanted to get the holistic experience I popped it on my laptop and began my journey. The book was designed to be heard vs. just read…you just get a better experience that way. Not only are you able to get a sense for the different characters’ personalities, music, and voices that go along with each of them, but the book in itself is written like a song or poem that rhymes.

Benny the Bird, the main character, takes us through his adventures “Up and Down Town” while meeting each of the characters that represent a different feeling. From the colors and faces of the characters that are almost like they are made out of clay, we get to truly experience happiness, sadness, anger, shock, embarrassment, excitement, scariness, confidence, and love.

Needless to say, the book was a great experience.  I enjoyed it all, but my favorite part was towards the end, when it reads:

“Did you know it’s very smart, to understand what’s in your heart?
Yes, indeed, it’s a very big deal. Now you can say, “I know how I feel!”

This not only opens an immediate dialogue with parents and children but allows for kids, especially boys to not feel ashamed to express their emotions. Consider this book a tool or guide that helps at explaining the intangible.  In a society, where many men are raised to believe that “men don’t cry”…it is nice to see a book that truly gets at the human side of our lives; where boys and girls can learn to equally identify and express how they truly feel.  A trait, we women know will definitely be a lesson they won’t ever regret as adults!

Now, I invite you to win the autographed copy; whether it’s for your son, daughter, or any child in your life!

You know the drill, just write back with your opinion (whatever it may be) and you’ll immediately be signed up for the raffle happening this Monday, June 7th.

Good luck to all and if you just can’t wait to have a copy in your hands then order it online at Up and Downtown’s website.

Happy Reading!

  1. I’m so glad that someone has chosen to write a book about this topic for kids. As I was reading your post I thought that it would be great for boys especially, and then I saw you had the same thought 🙂 I know that in society, and particularly among Hispanics, you hear people tell little boys, “hay que ser machito.” I’ve never subscribed to that mentality as expressing your feelings is paramount to who you are as a person, male or female, and to being able to share yourself with others as you truly are. No doubt the inability to do so can be an impairment in your adult relationships.

  2. dont know if you know this about me, but i collect childrens books. i appreciate how authors get to the essence of issues and like seeing how info is presented to children (our future). education and literacy are very important to me, just as communication and sincerity are dear values of mine. it sounds like this book has all of that rolled into one with tech to boot! sign me up for the raffle! xoxoxox
    ps: hope you had a lovely bday weekend ❤

  3. Wow, teaching kids especially boys to understand what’s going on inside of them is truly a wonderful idea! Even if I don’t win, I will buy it for my nephew and recommend it to others! I’m a firm believer that feelings and emotions should be well understood so that you can open up and have a more positive outlook in relationships. I wish this book would have been around when I was a child, a cheat sheet/cliff notes etc would have helped a ton. It would have been great as an emotional person like myself to have had a faster understanding of all those confusing feelings that I was only able to grasp as the years went by. I’m glad we can help our new generation of kids! I’m glad you bumped into Piper! Thanks Lili : )

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